Effects of salinity and drought on the phytochemical production in Jatrophacurcas L.
This study was carried out to evaluate Jatropha curcas plants grown from stem cuttings which was exposed to simulated drought and salinity separately to assess the effects of such abiotic factors on the phytochemical production levelin this plant. Investigation, based on the qualitative analysis, showed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, steroid, and tannins in J. curcas leaves. Results of the quantitative analysis showed that plants under drought and salinity stresses produce lower quantity of alkaloids, flavonoids, steroid and tannins while saponin production was increased. Jatropha curcas can be recommended for acute inflammatory disorders and diseases associated with pains. This also supports its use traditionally as an anti-snake bite, rheumatism and anti- cancer or anti-tumor agent. Further investigation is on the way to find out the mechanism of its action and also toidentify the active agent responsible for these effects in this plant.
Keywords: Drought, environment, growth, Jatropha curcas, salinity, secondary metabolites.